While soccer is something of a Cinderella sport in Clongowes by comparison with its big sisters Senior Rugby and Junior Rugby, it was not always thus and the game, introduced to the school by the newly arrived Tullabeggars in 1886, enjoyed a golden age for some twenty years before it was overtaken by ‘the Rugby Game’ and the rest is history. The annals of the round ball game in Clongowes have received a fresh chapter in recent years and this season the Senior Soccer Team has been enjoying unprecedented success, having already won the League and Youths’ Shield. Not content with this the team, under the guidance and inspiration of Mr Noel Mason (no mean athlete himself as his recent brisk run in the London Marathon [3.13] will attest), is readying itself for not one but two more finals in the next eight days…
The season is reaching an exciting climax for the Clongowes Senior Soccer team. The next two weeks see them compete in as many Cup Finals with the
KDUL Under 18 Cup Final against Clane United on Saturday 16th at 2.00pm, followed by the
KDUL Youths Cup Final against Suncroft FC on Tuesday 19th May at 6.30pm
The Under 18 Cup Final will now be played on Station Rd in Newbridge with the Youths Cup Final taking place in Tougher Park (weather permitting) in the Tougher Business Park on the old road between Naas and Newbridge and would really value your support at either or both fixtures.
Clongowes reached the Youths’ Cup Final having defeated Arlington FC, Rathangan, Kildare Town and Clane United along the way. The victories over Kildare in the quarter final and Clane in the semi-final were particularly notable as both teams compete in the division above Clongowes. What makes the victories even more remarkable is the fact that this Clongowes team only formed in September while the other teams are club outfits, which have been playing together for many years up through the various age levels.
The semi-final victory over Clane was an exciting game with Clongowes seemingly cruising to victory while leading 2-0 with only five minutes remaining, thanks to a brace from John Garty. However a determined Clane side fought back as Clongowes tired and they agonisingly equalised in injury time. Despite it being their third game in five days the Clongowes boys showed great determination and rallied together to keep out a Clane side who now had the momentum. The game remained all square after extra time and so it went to a penalty shootout. With all five penalty takers on both teams netting confidently it went to the dreaded sudden death shootout. Having kicked first Clongowes stared defeat in the face following a miss but goalkeeper Michael Collins saved to his left to keep the game alive. Collins then saved a second from the next kick sparking wild celebrations as Clongowes went through.
Clongowes will face the same opposition in the final of the Under 18 Cup where another cracking game is expected between the local rivals. Once again Clongowes followed a tough route to the final, facing teams from the higher division, defeating Kill Celtic in the quarter final and Newbridge Town in the semi final.
While enjoying a terrific run in both cup competitions Clongowes had the small matter of securing the league title as their main priority. This they did in style when defeating BBC United 4-0 away thanks to goals from John Garty, captain Jack McCreevy, Barry Murphy and Charlie Murtagh. It ended a hugely successful league campaign in which the boys remained undefeated having won eight and drawn two of their ten fixtures.
Clongowes also entered two Shield competitions and reached the final of both, defeating Suncroft to win the Youths Shield with goals from Mark Reynolds, John Garty, Joe Gilmartin and Jack McCreevy earning their second piece of silverware. However their luck ran out in the Under 18 shield final when losing 3-2 to Clane United. A clearly tired Clongowes playing their seventh game in fourteen days were to lose their unbeaten run of twenty games.
So a superb season thus far and well deserved for the boys who have shown fantastic dedication, determination and discipline throughout the year. If you find yourself in the Naas area this weekend come along and support the boys as they bid to add a cup victory to the already secured shield and league titles.
Mr Noel Mason